Wright Again

Wright Again

Mouillard's Patent And Maxim's Flying Machine - Saturday, December 6, 1902

The History: Octave Chanute replied to Wilbur's letter of November 30th. Chanute returned the data sheets from the Wright's glides of October 8, 1902. He asks Wilbur to double-check the records one more time. If the numbers are correct, he will calculate the resultant pressures. [For their gliding experiments, the Wrights used the term "resultant pressure" to mean the force opposing gravity.]

Chanute will soon leave for a trip to Egypt. The Wright brothers have not had time to prepare a paper or presentation for the Western Society of Engineers. Chanute will see that the Secretary of the association corresponds with the Wrights regarding their presentation.

Chanute has encouraged the Wright's to file a patent [a document which allows an inventor the exclusive right to make, use or sell their invention] to protect their flight control system. He is sending them a copy of Mouillard's patent.

Chanute noted he has read in the morning paper that Hiram Maxim is returning to the United States to develop a flying machine. Would he like him to write a letter to introduce Wilbur to Maxim?


Hiram Maxim was the inventor of the rapid-fire gun (the machine gun) in 1883. Maxim earned a fortune from this invention and used those funds to explore the development of a flying machine. He constructed a huge biplane, which weighed about 7,000 pounds, had a wingspan of 105 feet, two engines which turned two 17-1/2 foot propellers.

Louis-Pierre Mouillard was the author of Empire of the Air, a wonderful work on ornithology (bird flight). One of the four pamphlets the Smithsonian sent Wilbur in 1899 was an extract (small portion) of Mouillard's book. Mouillard also built and conducted glider experiments. Chanute provided Mouillard funding to file a U.S. patent on Mouillard's system of turning, which required the rear part of the wing to turn down.


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